Friday, May 29, 2009

Compass Rose

The first time I saw this idea was on the floor of a stone house that was hand built by one of my heroes, a local naturalist. His house is on a river, and his water source is a spring that flows through his house and out to the river. His staircase echoes the shape of his wife's baby grand piano! Some of his crown molding is grapevine split into quarters. I loved the hand crafted touches in his beautiful home. We have been trying to fit a compass rose into every remodeling project and building project since and finally, at the lake house, it seemed right. This granite tile is set into the slate floor of the foyer, revealing the orientation of the house in relation to true North. Up north, where we came from in North Dakota, up north where we spent lake vacations at Star Lake when the kids were younger, up north where the Boy Scouts went on High Adventure paddling and are going again in a couple weeks. If you were looking at a map of Lake Redstone, knowing where true North is might help you understand where our lot is in relation to the southern bay of the lake. Knowing the cardinal directions might help you understand where the sun will rise and set in relation to the houses amazing windows and views. The design has an abstract sail as a North arrow in honor of the little sailboat my kids and their dad rescued from the garbage and restored to use. The bur oak represents the prairie savanna that covers the rolling hills of the region. The sugar maple represents the maple-linden woods that shelters the stream edges and valleys. The white pine grows to towering heights along the shores of the lake on the sunnier drier slopes, and our lot whose slope faces nearly north has hemlocks that drape their graceful branches near the shore where we put in our canoes and kayaks. Some day, I hope to carve this design into a linoleum block, reversed of course, so that I can make prints of it.

1 comment:

Chuckles said...

That is all well and good, but what about your moral compass? Do you have a tile for that?